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Expecting Wellness: 5 Ways to Protect Your Pelvic Floor During Pregnancy

Pregnancy places a lot of stress on your pelvic floor as it accommodates the extra weight of your growing uterus. The pelvic floor, regardless of childbirth method, weakens up to 25% from pregnancy alone. During labour and birth, your pelvic floor could stretch up to three times its normal length to birth your baby (amazing, right?). Find out more about your amazing pelvic floor here!

The increase in weight and stretching weaken the pelvic floor’s muscles, ligaments, and tissues. This weakness may lead to prolapse or incontinence—something I want to help mummies avoid. With that, I want to reassure you that your body works miraculously and is powerful enough to sort things out independently. A little guidance is beneficial at times, though.

The pelvic floor is vital in women’s health, especially for pregnancy and birth. Being able to contract and relax your pelvic floor during pregnancy is one of the best ways you can begin to prepare for your postpartum recovery.

Here are five ways to prep your pelvic floor:

#1 POOP LIKE A PRO

When constipated, there is extra pressure on the pelvic floor to essentially get it out. Not a one-time episode of constipation here; but rather repeated episodes either before pregnancy or during pregnancy. To relieve this, drink plenty of water (even if you have to pee at night!) and eat a good amount of soluble fibre. Don’t worry, we can also teach you how to poop like a pro! There’s no need to be embarrassed here.

2# LEARN HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES THE RIGHT WAY

Unfortunately, research shows that up to 40% of women incorrectly contract their pelvic floor muscles. 25% actually bear down when they should be trying to lift it! This is why we suggest having your pelvic floor assessed by a women’s health physiotherapist. We usually go with an internal vaginal exam. Still, if that’s not appropriate for you, we can use the real-time ultrasound to assist with assessment and training (Check out this Instagram video).

#3 RELAX THOSE MUSCLES!


Like all the muscles in our body, they work to contract and RELAX. Don’t feel too agitated; allow your muscles to relax completely before contracting again. Note that muscles need to relax subconsciously for you to poo or wee and of course, to allow a safe vaginal delivery. Watch this awesome YouTube video on how we poo.

#4 KEEP GOOD POSTURE!

Remember: chest over the pubic bone. Proper alignment and movement will help protect your core and pelvic floor when pregnant. It also helps protect your lower back, especially if you have more than one child.

#5 INTENTIONAL BREATHING

Even something as simple as breathing directly affects how your pelvic floor functions. The diaphragm is connected to the pelvic floor through an intricate network of fascia and ligaments, allowing it to work like a piston. Consider “blow before you go” or exhalation on exertion to lessen the pressure on your pelvic floor.

More than these, it’s best to be on top of your pelvic floor health by seeing a women’s health physiotherapist during pregnancy, especially for a personalised action plan.

Pregnancy is the perfect time to work on your pelvic floor and have it function optimally the way it should, regardless of the mode of delivery! 

Are you pregnant and ready to take charge of your pelvic health? Feel free to call or WhatsApp at 9780 7274 or email us at help@embracephysio.sg so we can discuss what works best for you!

Feel free to look through our website, where you can learn about other women’s health conditions we treat. This is a safe space where we can discuss how we can help you with physiotherapy.

Note: While I am a physiotherapist, I am not your personal physiotherapist. The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as personal medical advice.

References:

  1. https://www.embracephysio.sg/what-is-a-womans-pelvic-floor/
  2. https://www.instagram.com/p/CClSud0n2fE/?igshid=1be2m5fwgg0l6
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q
  4. https://www.embracephysio.sg/why-you-should-get-your-pelvic-floor-muscles-checked-during-pregnancy/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780123694430500648 (from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/kegel-exercise)
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Preet and her team are very dedicated in helping women like me re educate myself on my pelvic floor and lower back issues. They made the effort to understand me as a whole person before prescribing anything and I think that makes the winning difference. I would recommend Embrace Physio to anyone who needs professional help for women’s health.

kallista cheah Avatar kallista cheah
April 23, 2022

Very nice environment and my physiotherapist Alex is very responsible and caring. Great place to go!

Vivienne Li Avatar Vivienne Li
May 18, 2022

I saw Preet throughout my pregnancy and postnatal period. She is the BEST. She saved my body and provides free emotional support whole she's at it. Preet obviously knows what she's doing and could identify the root source of the pain and assigned exercises to address it. She also doesn't make you feel bad if you fail to do them. I highly, highly recommend Embrace.

Jana Shih Avatar Jana Shih
December 15, 2023

Embrace life. Embrace Physiotherapy.

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